A very warm welcome to University Technical College South Durham, a state-funded, purpose-built Sixth Form and school for 13-19 year olds. Students can join UTC in Year 10 or Sixth Form.
We opened in September 2016 and our first Ofsted inspection was in January 2019, where we achieved ‘Good’ judgments across all categories, including our Post-16 provision. A ‘Good’ judgement is rare for new educational establishments, and shows the strength of the core education that underpins the UTC.
We specialise in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), with a focus on engineering and advanced manufacturing. We exist to help our students prepare for the world of work, providing them with an excellent academic and technical education alongside developing their professional skills.
Our 2019 results were fantastic, with 100% pass rate at A-level and 72% Distinction* grade in Tech level Engineering. Our average Tech levels at Distinction places us in the top of the North East’s Post-16 providers.
Our commitment to supporting our students’ professional development means that they are highly successful in securing jobs, apprenticeships, and places for further study. Our destinations are impressive; in 2019:
- Everyone who wanted to went on to university and all of them to study STEM degrees.
- Over half secured apprenticeships (higher or advance) – eight times the national average!
- Nobody was classed as NEET (not in education, employment or training)
In Sixth Form, students study one of two pathways: a two year Level 3 route of three or four A-levels and equivalent qualifications, or a one or two year pre-apprenticeship route of practical engineering skills. We meet with all applicants individually before enrolment to design a programme which meets their needs and career aspirations.
As laid out in the Student Leaver Profile, there are three clear strands to our student experience:
- STEM focused academic qualifications
- Specialist technical skills and knowledge
- Professional learning: all students undertake a comprehensive programme of visits and placements in companies, including two weeks work experience, in addition to industry-led projects in the UTC and other career-focused enrichment
This approach to education is proving successful, with employers and parents stating that UTC students have strong workplace skills and a confidence that sets them up for future careers. Employers describe students as ‘confident’, ‘capable’ and ‘very employable’. In the feedback to Ofsted inspectors, 94% of parents said they would recommend the UTC to other parents, 98% said that their child is happy, and 100% said that their child is well looked after at the UTC.
We would be delighted to welcome you to UTC. Please visit us to meet our students and staff, and to see our impressive facilities for yourself.
Tom Dower, Principal